A selection of new and familiar faces has been settling into life as part of the growing Professional Referee Organization support staff.
Ian Anderson (Manager of PRO2 Assistant Referees)
Ian is a two-time MLS Cup and All-Star AR who has retired after more than 300 MLS regular-season games and six years on the FIFA panel to become PRO2’s first Manager of Assistant Referees. Two years after making his MLS debut, he was named as MLS Assistant Referee of the Year. He worked his last game in Week 6 of the 2023 season.
Heather Betancourt (Sports Performance Coach)
Heather has been working in sports performance for the last decade. She was an NCAA Division 1 soccer player and is the Director for Basketball Sports Science at the University of Pittsburgh, as well as a sports scientist for the USSF’s youth national teams.
Miriam Blount (HR Coordinator)
Miriam will be the new point of contact for general human resource questions. She worked with FlightSafety International for 21 years, rising from a mail clerk to the role of HR Administrator.
David Gantar (Manager of PRO2 Video Review)
The former FIFA international referee returns to PRO after retiring as an official at the end of the 2021 season. After more than 100 regular-season games in MLS and 11 years on the FIFA international panel, which included four Concacaf Gold Cup tournaments, he called time on his career after taking charge of the 2021 Canadian Championship Final.
Shane Kennard (Manager of Operations)
Shane was an assistant referee for 23 years, reaching PRO2 and National level. Since retirement, he has become experienced in communicating assignments and league requirements to match officials, clubs, and facilities. His main priorities as Manager of Operations will be to assist senior match officials and staff.
Stephen McLoughlin (Accounting Coordinator)
Stephen will oversee the PRO and PRO2 accounts payable and receivable, starting with implementing a new invoicing system. Stephen has spent the past 10 years working in accounting in the restaurant industry
Steve Montanino (Manager of Talent ID)
Steve started refereeing in 1998 and became a National Referee 11 years later, by which point he had also started instructing and would soon begin assessing. In 2019 he became a US Soccer National Referee Coach, and more recently, an assessor for MLS matches.
Abbey Okulaja (PRO2 Referee Coach)
Abbey joins the PRO2 team as a Referee Coach, having spent several years as an assessor for PRO and Concacaf. He officiated in MLS from 2003 to 2012, was voted MLS Referee of the Year in 2004, and was fourth official for MLS Cup the same year. He has since become a US Soccer National Referee Coach in addition to his assessor duties.